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Water Heaters – A Buyer’s Guide

Water Heaters Denver CO are one of those large appliances that most homeowners take for granted until they go on the fritz. This guide will help you make an informed purchase and select the right model.

Water Heaters

Electric models are the most wallet-friendly option. However, they use fossil fuels to generate electricity and may not be as green as other energy sources.

The most common type of water heater, tank-type units, have a large insulated tank where hot water is stored until needed. They can be powered by electricity, natural gas, propane, or fuel oil. Most residential tanks are 40 to 55 gallons, although you can buy models with larger capacities. Tanks are usually located in a basement or in a garage, although you can also install them in the attic or in closets in older homes.

When you turn on a faucet, the hot water pump activates and heats the water inside the storage tank to the temperature you’ve selected. The water then flows through your pipes and out of the faucet. If the demand for hot water is high, the tank’s heating elements will turn on to keep the water heated. The thermostat monitors the temperature of the stored water and adjusts the heating elements as needed to maintain a constant desired output temperature.

During normal use, the heater is usually on all the time. When the tank’s capacity is exhausted, the thermostat signals the heating elements to shut off. Once the water cools, the thermostat starts cycling them on again to warm the water back up to the pre-set temperature. Because conventional tanks are always using energy, they’re less efficient than tankless units.

In addition to the water heating element, a conventional tank-type heater has a drain valve on the bottom and an exhaust flue that runs through its center. The drain valve is fitted with a screen that prevents debris from entering the flue and can be closed to prevent lint or other contaminants from entering the burner. The flue is designed to vent outside the home through a chimney.

To determine the right size of a tank water heater for your family, you must consider how much hot water your household typically uses in one day. Add up the gallons used for showers, dishwasher and laundry, then multiply that number by your local water utility’s peak hour demand gallons-per-minute (GPM) water consumption rate. You can find this information on your water heater’s Energy Guide Label. You’ll want a tank water heater with a first-hour rating that matches or exceeds this peak hour demand.

Tank-less heaters

Tankless, on-demand water heaters heat water only when it is needed. They have a high energy efficiency rating and can save money on your utility bills. They use less space than tank water heaters and can be installed at multiple points of use in your home. Tankless water heaters have a long lifespan, up to 20 years, and require little maintenance.

They heat water by using a thermally efficient heat exchanger. They are powered by electricity, natural gas or propane and can be used to provide hot water for your entire house or just a single point of use. Some of these units have a digital display that lets you see the temperature of your water at any time. These units are a good option for homes with limited space for a large water heater.

These systems also require a smaller water pipe size than traditional tank heaters. They can be installed in a smaller space because they do not have a large tank to store hot water. Tankless water heaters are also more expensive than tank-type models, but they last longer and have lower operating costs.

Unlike traditional storage tank water heaters, which have a fixed supply of hot water, a tankless model produces an unlimited amount of hot water based on the flow rate through it. This can be a disadvantage in some situations. However, if you only use the hot water in your home during certain times of day or at specific events, this may not be an issue.

Tankless water heaters are generally more reliable than traditional storage tanks and do not require the periodic flushing that tank-type units need to prevent scale buildup. However, they can be more complicated to install and are typically more expensive.

It is important to hire a certified and licensed professional for your water heater installation, especially when choosing a tankless unit. This ensures that the installer follows all local codes and permits and understands your home’s unique energy needs. They will also make sure the unit is located in a location that is easily accessible for future repairs. They will also be able to advise you of the best energy-efficient solutions for your home.

Gas heaters

Whether you’re looking for a gas water heater for your home, workshop or garage, Lowe’s has a wide selection of liquid propane (LP) and natural gas models. With a tankless design, these units eliminate the need for storage tanks and provide instantaneous hot water for showers, faucets and appliances. In addition, they’re typically less expensive to operate than electric models.

Unlike tank-type units, a gas model’s heating rods run along the length of the unit’s inner chamber. They are closer together than in an electric model, so they gain heat more quickly and efficiently. This helps to lower operating costs, which can be up to 33% less than electric models.

The type of fuel you choose will also have a big impact on your energy costs. The best gas heater for you depends on your local energy prices, as well as the availability and cost of both LP and natural gas. If you’re building a new home, or replacing a tank-type or tankless model, be sure to check your utility company for current fuel rates and availability.

For most households, a 40 to 50 gallon capacity is adequate for a primary or supplemental water heater. If you have a larger household, you may want to increase your tank size to accommodate everyone’s needs.

Both gas and electric models have excellent recovery efficiencies and can be energy efficient, depending on the model you choose and how it’s installed. For example, high-efficiency units that use a sealed combustion system can achieve recovery efficiencies of up to 98% (not counting power station losses), while electric units have energy factors of up to 90%.

However, be aware that LPG produces carbon monoxide, which is a deadly gas if inhaled in a poorly ventilated area. While many gas heaters are safe for indoor use, be sure yours is clearly marked as such and pair it with a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause flu-like symptoms, dizziness and unconsciousness. It can also be fatal if inhaled in high concentrations over long periods of time. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, open a window and leave the room.

Electric heaters

Electric heaters are a simple, affordable choice that can be installed anywhere that has access to household electricity. They operate using the same principles as an electric coffee maker: current runs through a 220-volt circuit and past two heating elements powered by a thermostat that senses when the water temperature falls below your set point. The heat from the heating elements is transferred to the water by conduction.

The best electric water heaters will have a high safety rating to ensure that the heater shuts off automatically if it is tipped over or becomes too hot. They will also feature a low-water alert that lets you know when the tank is empty. It’s important to find a model with these features because they can help reduce the risk of accidents or fires.

Another type of electric water heater is a point-of-use (POU) unit that is typically installed at the faucet where you’ll be using the water. These units use less powerful heating elements and can provide enough hot water for hand washing or short showers. However, they’ll have a limited capacity and may not be large enough for full-sized baths. They’ll also have a shorter lifespan than traditional storage models, so you might need to replace them more frequently.

Some of these units are portable and can be moved from sink to sink, while others are hardwired into your home or building and function as a central heating system. This type of heater can be very efficient and cost-effective, especially if your area has access to inexpensive, clean hydroelectric power.